The big question

Antisocial behaviour orders. Overdue or over the top?

Tomas Foley, care leaver
I am 23 and left care at 17. I live in a block of nine flats, one
is a crack house, one sells cocaine, one is a sex offender. That is
our typical accommodation. Many of us live in fear of violence,
intimidation or burglary. If ASBOs could protect us then I welcome
them. But they are not meant to assist vulnerable groups but
instead to capture the votes of adult conservatives.

Angie Lawrence, single parent

ASBOs can be effective in the short term but they often simply move
the problem elsewhere. I live in a rough area of Greater Manchester
which has three times more ASBOs than anywhere else. But they’ve
changed little and I think Sure Start has done much more to address
key issues such as bad parenting which are at the root of it

Peggy Hatcher, pensioner
Some youths can be absolute pests. I don’t live in the best of
areas and I know a lot of older people in my block are frightened
of going out at night. But youngsters hanging around are very
threatening and I know people who have been jostled into the road
by gangs – in one case a group of young girls. If ASBOs can stop
that sort of thing then I support them.

Alex Williams, mental health service

A curfew might seem draconian but to anyone who has been on the
receiving end of “low level” crime it could provide a solution. In
some cases ASBOs may be a good thing; in others they further
disadvantaging people with multiple problems, for example a family
on benefits evicted due to a teenager with behavioural problems.

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